NJ Growers Recycle Record Amount of Ag Film in 2011

1/23/2012

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced the Department of Agriculture nursery and greenhouse plastic film recycling program saw a 53 percent increase in the amount of materials recycled last year, making 2011 the most successful year since the program began in 1997.
 
More than one million pounds of plastic film was recycled instead of being dumped into landfills, saving New Jersey farmers thousands of dollars in landfill tipping fees, keeping these items out of the solid waste stream, increasing the availability of landfill space and providing a source for manufacturers to make plastic products using recycled content.
 
"We are proud to have the most successful nursery and greenhouse film recycling program in the nation," said Secretary Fisher.  "We encourage all growers who use agricultural plastics to participate in this valuable and money-saving program."
 
The Department's year-round film recycling program is entering its 15th year.  The film being recycled is used to cover greenhouses for environmental control and hoop houses for over-wintering of nursery material.
 
Since the program was initiated in 1997, growers in New Jersey have recycled more than 8 million pounds of used film and are expected to surpass the 9 million pound mark this year.  In 2011, the amount recycled was 1,111,760 pounds - the largest volume of nursery and greenhouse film recycled in a single year since the program was started.
 
Two regional sites accept film year-round -- the Burlington County Occupational Training Center in Mt. Holly and the Cumberland County Solid Waste Complex in Deerfield.  Out-of-state growers can take their used film to the Mt. Holly site, whereas the Cumberland site only will accept New Jersey growers' film.  For details about the locations, hours, fees, and other vendors who accept film, visit the Department's website at www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/filmsites.html.
 
Growers who recycled through the two regional centers saved almost $25,000 in tipping fees. Larger growers who marketed their film to brokers and plastic recycling facilities, saved more than $21,000 and were also rewarded up to $54,000 for their recycling efforts.
 
Both white and clear nursery film and clear multi-season (two-year, three-year, and four-year) greenhouse covers can be recycled. Film must be free of lathing, staples and saran. Loads containing other agricultural plastics, such as bags, mulch film, shrink film, stretch film, drip irrigation or ground cover film, will be rejected at the collection sites.

Vehicles used to transport the greenhouse and nursery film intra or interstate are not required to be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as long as the used film is transported directly to one of the two collection sites participating in New Jersey's nursery and greenhouse film recycling program.
 
Larger growers who produce sizeable amounts of film also have the option of collecting, preparing and selling the nursery and greenhouse film on the open market. However, price and convenience has led many farm operations to use one of the two regional collection sites to drop off their film.
 
In addition, the Department also offers year-round mulch film and drip irrigation tape recycling, seasonal plastic pesticide container recycling and information on nursery pots, plastic flats, trays, and cell packs recycling.
 
To find out more about these recycling programs, contact Karen Kritz at 609-984-2506 or Karen.kritz@ag.state.nj.us or visit the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Agricultural Recycling webpage at: www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/recycling.html.